The House of Representatives this week, largely along party lines, passed legislation to expand the Affordable Care Act’s ACA’s tax credits, incentivize Medicaid expansion, cap what any person may pay for coverage premiums at 8.5% of income, let immigrants living in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program get access to subsidized insurance plans, and direct the government to negotiate prices for expensive drugs. H.R. 1425, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act (PPACEA)
passed by a measure of 234-179, with two GOP lawmakers, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1) and Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ-2), joining their colleagues across the aisle in voting for passage of the bill. The legislation is not likely to be taken up in the Republican controlled Senate and the White House has already said it would veto. However, in addition to increasing the number of insured Americans by 4 million, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects the bill could reduce the deficit by $18 billion, potentially making it an attractive “pay for” for future legislation priorities in both parties.